Saturday, September 20, 2008

Nikolaevsk, Alaska

Russian Old Believers Church in Nikolaevsk

Check out this video from this morning's "Today Show." It's a report on the Nikolaevsk village in Alaska, a town that to this day is filled with Russian "Old Believers." Think of the Amish, but Russian Orthodox, and in Alaska.

A friend from Moscow lives there and her kids appear in the clip a few times. I remember what culture shock she went through when she and her husband moved here! They had spoken Russian their whole lives, but it was Russian from another century... (He was here with one of the large oil companies; they had obviously been exposed to US culture beyond their village, so the shock wasn't simply going from a sheltered village to such an international city). 

2 comments:

Seane-Anna said...

I first read about Nikolaevsk, Alaska in a National Geographic article from the '70's (or '80's, not sure which). Glad to see this little piece of Old Russia is still around.

Annie said...

I really loved this post - wrote a long reply, then accidently erased it.

There is some part of me that would love to live like this. Probably a better part of me. Peaceful, centered, focused.

I think there is also an Old Believer community in Oregon, near Mt. Angel. I went on retreat there one time, and saw all the women in their beautiful dresses and shawls out in the fields picking strawberries. And by the side of the road, for a donation, baskets of absolutely the most wonderful, heavenly strawberries I've ever eaten.